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Daniel Howorth

Head of Architecture and Portfolio | F. Hoffmann-La Roche

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Why did you want to attend the IT Summit?

I have just taken over the role of Head of Architecture and Strategy for Roche, and I did in June, and so I thought was a great opportunity to you know network and find out what was going on in the European environment. Previously I was based in Singapore.

How do you use CEB?

We use CEB in three main ways: the first way is if we’re embarking on some new initiative. Roche Diagnostics has a relatively new enterprise architecture function so we try to learn from best practice rather than reinvent the wheel. So if we’re starting on something new we leverage the CEB information heavily. We use it for benchmarking our own processes as well so trying to work out what other teams are doing, what they find is working and how we can improve what we’re doing and diagnosing some of the problems that we’re facing. It’s good material, it’s very practical, focused much more on best practice and what other real life examples what other organizations are doing, so we like it for that.

Give an example of a CEB resource you’ve used to help achieve a business goal.

About two years ago now our CIO asked us to do strategic IT roadmaps. We spent a few months trying to scratch our heads about what strategic IT roadmaps were what they looked like because the organization had never had any before, so we trolled through CEB trying to find out what strategic IT roadmaps should look like, and we found another a number of good resources that helped us build out the strategic roadmap processes. So that was an excellent sort of leapfrog to working out what we should be doing, it was a great tool for communicating to the business partners and to other IT stakeholders about what we were aiming for and we used it for guidance rather than starting off with a blank piece of paper. It was a fantastic resource for us to be able to show this is what it looks like this is how other organizations are using it – it’s not something crazy that we’ve invented it’s, it’s real life it’s best practice.

CEB helped us develop these business capability maps and gave us examples and ideas that we used to develop these business capability maps. So without the CEB input we would probably still be floundering.

How would you recommend CEB?

It’s such a valuable resource and it’s by far the cheapest advisory service that we subscribe to and I would think that it provides a different set of advice. It’s practical and useful, and we’ve been able to leverage it in so many ways. The great thing about it is that it’s available for all of our team members so the CEO might ping and say, "Have you read this?" and it’s available to us whereas with other advisory services it’s not so widely available. Everybody within our team has access to it so they have no excuse that they haven’t read it. We’ve found CEB very useful to work with, they’ve been able to come out and give presentations to various workshops we’ve been holding and that’s been fantastic. Earlier this year we were in the middle of nowhere in Switzerland but a couple of members from CEB came out and gave presentation for half a day which was fantastic and stimulated the team for the three day workshop for more discussions.

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